RAFEN 1 ventures another highlight

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LINGAYEN, Pangasinan- The Regional Agriculture and Fishery Extension Network (RAFEN) 1 continued to unify its strategies, approaches, and vision to achieve more progressive and nurtured agri-preneurs as it held its 5th Symposium last October 18-19 at the Convention Hall, Pangasinan State University (PSU), Lingayen, Pangasinan.

The symposium was graced with the presence of 250 AFE Stakeholders from RAFEN 1 Member Agencies, Provincial and Local Government Units of the Region, and 1 SIKAT (Samahang Itinataguyod ang Kaunlaran ng Agri-Turismo sa Rehiyon Uno, Inc.) - an association of ATI accredited private extension service providers.

With the theme “Enhancing Agri-preneurship towards Farm Tourism”, the two-day activity aimed to build a community of sustainable agri-preneurs through farm tourism. A lecture-discussion on the Role of Farm Tourism in Increasing the Region’s Economy was presented by Michael C. Putulan, Accreditation Officer from the Regional Office of Department of Tourism.

Moreover, the symposium included the Launching of the RAFEN Briefer and Program Document, Products Exhibit of 1 SIKAT, Video Presentations on the Updates of RAFEN 1 Convergence Initiative Program and 1 SIKAT towards Farm Tourism, Sharing of RAFEN Member Agencies’ Best Extension Practices, and Competition of LGUs’ Best Extension Practices through Paper/Oral and Poster Presentations.

Hon. Cynthia A. Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, was invited as the Keynote Speaker. However, she was not able to grace the activity as she had to attend to some pressing concerns in agriculture. Nevertheless, the Senator sent a VTR through her coordinator, Ms. Ruby Ann L. Matutino, expressing her appreciation to RAFEN 1 for the efforts of orienting farmers on the potential of farm tourism in improving their productivity and income.

Meanwhile, ATI-RTC I Center Director Rogelio Evangelista delivered the message of ATI OIC-Director Luz Taposok. Director Taposok’s message encouraged all extension officers to continue providing technical assistance on agribusiness as it is a great starting point in transforming simple farmers into agri-preneurs. Likewise, she acknowledged the efforts of every individual for this was an opportunity time to all development catalysts in the region to update one another and to celebrate their accomplishments.

Regional and Provincial personalities were also invited to the symposium, as well as the OIC- President of PSU, Dr. Paulo V. Cenas. Provincial Governor of Pangasinan, Hon. Amado Espino III; Congressman of 2nd District, Hon. Leopoldo Bataoil; and, the Regional Executive Director of DA-RFO 1, Dir. Lucrecio Alviar, Jr., sent their high-esteemed representatives to deliver their messages during the opening program.

RAFEN 1 Chairperson, Dr. Rogelio Evangelista, expressed his gratitude to everyone for contributing to the success of this year’s symposium.